Making technology progress relevant in travel – dead easy, dead slow or just dead but why?
Technology folks all have great ideas for the next coolest thing. But for traditional companies, particularly those in travel, very few of these ideas see the light of day.
Yet, (and strangely conversely) some of the highest value companies to have emerged on the web in recent years are playing in the travel space and yes, you guessed it, they come from a technology base.
So why is it the traditional players find it so hard to make investment decisions in travel technology? As noted in my post yesterday – traditional travel technology looks like a third world (read backward) country. Everyone involved seems to be petrified of upsetting the status quo.
Today’s great ideas and initiatives become yesterday’s door stops just too darn fast. How to break this cycle of disheartening inertia should be a priority for all of us involved in travel technology.
As I looked around the room at the OpenTravel session in Miami this week, I was struck by the age of the participants. So many people there are just plain old. Nothing wrong with old but it needs balance and it needs young blood.
I was also disheartened by the lack of people who had been pioneers in early stages of the web. There are a lot of people who have been successful in travel technology but they don’t seem to be participating in the next generation.
So here is an appeal. Those of you who made a killing in technology and want to participate in developing the next generation of travel, get off your rears and come and participate in this business.
Help us to shake the inertia and get real world products into the marketplace FAST. Help us to blast through the traditional long lead times for change.
For the longest time the adage the quick and the dead didn’t apply to travel. Well guess what … now it does. And I for one do not intend being in the dead category. Care to join me?
Timothy O'Neil-Dunne is a contributing Node to Tnooz. He writes about travel, in particular aviation, technology, startups and innovation.
He has two day jobs: managing partner at travel consultancy firm T2Impact, where he serves as the lead for the airline, aviation and airport practice. He is also co-founder of VaultPAD, an accelerator devoted exclusively to travel and travel-related startup businesses. One of the first companies to emerge from the incubator is Air Black Box, a cloud-based software company providing Airline Connectivity Solutions.
Timothy was a founding management team member of the Expedia team, where he headed the international and ground transportation portfolios. He also spent time with Worldspan as head of technology, where he managed international technology services from infrastructure to product.
Timothy is also a permanent advisor to the World Economic Forum and writes as Professor Sabena. He sits on a number of advisory and executive boards.